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Linda McMahon
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Linda McMahon was born in New Bern, North Carolina, to civil service employees who worked at the Cherry Point Air Base. Her father was a shop foreman; her mother was a budget analyst. An only child, Linda was raised as both “her mother’s daughter and her father’s son,” learning to keep house as well as change the spark plugs in the lawnmower. Her parents instilled in her a strong work ethic and the value of a dollar, in which people saved for a rainy day and did not spend more than they earned.



At age 13, Linda was singing in the church choir when she noticed a new guy in the congregation. He was 16, and his name was Vince McMahon. They chatted a bit after church, and a few years later when her parents decided she was old enough, they began to date. They married when Linda graduated high school, and she joined him at East Carolina University. Taking extra classes and summer school, Linda caught up with him and they were able to graduate college together. Linda earned a degree in French and was certified to teach. The day before graduation, they learned they were expecting a baby, their son Shane.



With no money or health insurance, Linda went to work when Shane was six weeks old. She was a receptionist at a law firm in Washington, D.C. Vince had been working 90 hours a week in a rock quarry to support the family and build their savings, and soon started working for the small company his father owned, promoting wrestling events. Hoping to diversify their income, they also invested in a construction firm – a firm that eventually folded, leaving them with no option but declaring bankruptcy. They lost their home and car, and struggled to get back on their feet. They felt knocked down, but not defeated. They were expecting their second child, their daughter Stephanie, and were determined to pursue a new opportunity for themselves.



Linda and Vince decided to purchase his father’s company in a leveraged buyout. They had four quarters to pay him and his partners off, and if they missed one payment, they would lose both the company and all the money they had already paid, so they felt the pressure to succeed. They did, and built the small, regional “rag-tag” promotions businesses into the WWE – a global enterprise with over 600 employees headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut.



Linda served as the company’s CEO, guiding its success and taking it public. The WWE is now traded on the New York Stock Exchange and is seen in 130 countries and translated into 35 languages.



In 2007, Linda was named a “Wonder Woman” by Multichannel News, which recognized her accomplishments as a leader in the U.S. cable television industry. Linda has been involved in a variety of community and charitable programs. She spearheaded the creation of the WWE’s Get R.E.A.L education and literacy programs, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation Awarded WWE its highest honor for its working granting wishes to children living with life-threatening diseases. Under Linda’s leadership, WWE received the first-ever Legacy of Hope Award, given in honor of Bob Hope, from the USO for its extensive support of American troops. In 2009, Linda served on the Connecticut Board of Education. She currently serves on the Boards of Sacred Heart University and the Close Up Foundation.



Linda and Vince live in Greenwich, Connecticut, and have been married for 46 years. They have two adult children, Shane and Stephanie, and six grandchildren.

Entries by Linda McMahon

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